Whether you’re opening a new establishment or remodeling an old neighborhood gem, developing a restaurant’s layout and design can be tricky. The challenge is even greater if you’re tight on space. But don’t worry! We have some small restaurant design ideas to make your location functional, safe and appealing.
1. Establish a Floor Plan with Plenty of Space
Before you consider styles and embellishments, come up with a solid floor plan first. A small restaurant floor plan should have a proper kitchen to dining space ratio. Most experts agree you should allocate 60 percent of your total space for the dining area and 40 percent of your entire space for the kitchen and prep area. Here are some considerations for the dining area, kitchen and delivery/takeout zone:
In the dining area, make sure to space tables and chairs appropriately. The old rule-of-thumb was 18 inches between each occupied chair, 42-60 inches between each square table and 24-30 inches between the corners of diagonal tables.
Kitchen & Prep Stations
When organizing your commercial kitchen, make sure to create designated stations as part of your small restaurant floor plan. There are a wide variety of ways to lay out the kitchen, but you should include at least these fiver core stations:
- Hot station – Houses cooking equipment like ranges, warmers, fryers and grills.
- Cold station – Includes refrigerators, freezers and coolers.
- Cleaning station – Has multiple sinks and dishwashers for cleaning dishes, cookware, utensils and more.
- Prep & baking station – Where you do things like chop, knead and mix.
- Delivery & takeout prep – Where staff packs orders for delivery and takeout orders.
Delivery & Takeout Station
To prevent crowding near the front of the restaurant, designate a special area for only delivery and takeout orders. If you have multiple side doors by the front of the house, reserve one of them for just pick-up. As long as it doesn’t interfere with dine-in patrons, the station should help prevent a high volume of traffic near the main entrance.
Set up a small counter where a staff member can hand out delivery and takeout orders. If the kitchen is nearby, each order can be placed inside a warming and cooling equipment in the kitchen. However, if you have the space, consider placing a small warming cabinet or refrigeration in that delivery and takeout station. That way orders can be distributed quickly.
2. Create an Inviting Yet Safe Entry
The entryway typically gives patrons a first impression of your establishment. Whether the entrance is a separate room or leads right into the dining area, make sure your small restaurant floor plan dedicates enough room to create a seamless flow. Consider adding ledges or small partitions behind the hosting station to help isolate the entryway while still showcasing the atmosphere of your dining room and bar.
3. Make Your Bar the Focal Point
Unlike larger establishments that can divide the bar and dining room, some small restaurant bar designs don’t have this luxury. In that case, make the bar a focal point at the front of the house. Start by creating a catchy display with your liquor and barware. Then, play around with the bar lighting by adding:
- LED shelves
- Hanging fixtures
- Underbar light strips
Either option will bring a glow to the space to make it stand out from the rest of the dining area.
4. Decorate According to the Atmosphere
Décor is a must for any small restaurant design, but whatever you choose to adorn the walls, ceilings and floors depends on the theme of your place. For instance, a sports bar would need to have plenty of banners, jerseys and memorabilia throughout the space. A more sophisticated spot, on the other hand, should have tasteful paintings, plants and wall art.
Color is one way to capture the mood of any environment. Red, beige or other dark colors create a cozy atmosphere while light hues like green, blue or white give the feeling of a large, open space. Mirrors also help create the illusion of more space, making your smaller restaurant or bar appear longer or wider.
5. Focus on the Ceiling
One great way to make your space feel larger is by painting the ceiling the same color as the walls. You can also use tiles that are the same color to give your space added flair while enhancing the feel of your dining room.
After implementing these changes, you’ll have a whole new restaurant that feels more spacious and offers a smooth flow for everyone to move around. Creating a comfortable new space like this requires some social media posting. Let your customers know you’ve changed things up and you’d like them to check it out for themselves.